Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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GRIFFITH , JOHN ( fl. 1548-1587 ), civil lawyer .

He was probably the son of William Griffith of Plas Mawr , Caernarvon , and of Trefarthen , Llanidan , Anglesey (d. 1587 ), the eldest son of the second marriage of Sir William Griffith of Penrhyn . His mother was Margaret , daughter of John Wyn ap Meredith of Gwydir and aunt to the first Sir John Wynn . He became a Fellow of All Souls , Oxford , in 1548 , took his B.C.L. in 1551 (18 July) and his doctorate in 1563 (7 July) .

In 1559 (23 Feb.) queen Elizabeth allowed William Awbrey to hand over to Griffith his office of Regius professor of civil law at Oxford , which Griffith held till 1566 , combining it from 1561-4 with the principalship of New Inn Hall . On 26 Feb. 1564 he was admitted to Doctors' Commons . He was elected M.P. for Caernarvon borough in 1571 , and served as sheriff of Caernarvonshire in 1582-3 and of Anglesey in 1587 .

His younger brother, WILLIAM GRIFFITH , LL.D. , was admiralty judge for Caernarvon and M.P. for the borough in 1586 , and in the following year was responsible for setting on foot the man-hunt which resulted in the discovery of a group of recusants meeting in the Rhiwledyn cave in Creuddyn with their own printing press (see under Puw ).


  • J. E. Griffith , Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families (1914) , 125, 184-5;
  • Wood , Athenae Oxonienses … to which are added The Fasti (1813–20) , i, 161;
  • Rymer , Foedera conventiones, litteræ, et cujuscunque generis acta publica, inter reges Angliæ et alios quosuis imperatores, reges, pontifices, principes, vel communitates, ab ingressu Gulielmi I. in Angliam, A.D. 1066, ad nostra usque tempora habita aut tractata ex autographis, infra secretiores archivorum regiorum thesaurarias, asservatis, aliisque summæ vetustatis instrumentis, ad historiam anglicanam spectantibus, fideliter exscripta (1816-1830, 1869) , xv, 505;
  • W. R. Williams , The History of the Parliamentary Representation of Wales (1895) , 65;
  • Caernarvonshire Historical Society Transactions , 1946 , 14.


Emeritus Professor Arthur Herbert Dodd, M.A., (1891-1975), Bangor

Published date: 1959